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Accidents Happen - The Cacatuoides Spawn


New Member
5 Year Member
The pair of young Cacs I'd set up a few weeks ago have decided to bring out some fry to show me. Though a few months ahead of my schedule, exciting nonetheless. I should know by now, that not much goes exactly to plan in this hobby.

At a guess there's 20-30 free-swimming fry in a 15G dirted medium planted (I changed my mind on a few plants) and species only tank. As the tank is set up on my desk at my office and with this afternoon being the first time I've seen them and no discernible colouration on the fry, I'd say this was their first adventure out and about.

The tank is a mixture of Seiyru rock and driftwood from an old shrimp tank, stacked in the centre to form what could loosely be defined as "caves" and I mean loose, as I wasn't planning a spawn anytime soon there's no 'perfect' spot for the female to guard.

I had noticed the female colour up around a week and a half ago, but wasn't looking for any spawning behaviour. I had noticed her being more recluse and only coming out when I approached the tank looking for food, but considering their age (5-6 months when I got them) I wasn't expecting anything of them and thought that their first couple of attempts wouldn't be successful. In preparation to breed, I've been trying to hunt down some Pencil Fish (nannostomus eques) to no avail locally.

I had started a Grindal Worm culture and while it was kicking off, I was feeding a combination of broken up TetraColour Tropical Granules and Tetra Freeze Dried Bloodworms which were on special at the local PetBarn (the Aussie equivalent of PetCo).

Of course all of this happened around 4pm on a Saturday (I know, I'm a sucker for working weekends - hence the office tank for sanity) and with the LFS already closed my preparedness isn't working for me.

Tomorrow I'll be catching up with a local Killifish/Corydoras/Kribensis breeder at the local Killifish club meeting who is going to give me one of his microworm cultures and I'll swing past the LFS to see if they've got some brine shrimp eggs to get a culture started. I've also got some Java Moss out of an established shrimp tank which I'll move into this tank hoping for some infusoria.

As I'm not looking to readily breed them at the moment, I'm not particularly worried about trying to save all of the fry, however I would like to try and get at least a small batch grown out that I can give to some young hobbyists (or 'soon to be'- ;)) and hopefully pass on the bug. If you're in AUS and know of someone not in Canberra, I'm happy to ship when they're ready if they want to pay the postage.

The Plan:

1-21 Days
- 10% water change every second day
- Infusoria laden moss near the most frequent grazing area till Microworms/BBS
- Switch to a combination of Microworm/BBS
- After 2-3 weeks mix in crushed pellets or flake (http://www.apistogramma.com/forum/threads/how-to-raise-macmasteri-fry.19230/)

22 days-Forever Home
- Don't know how I'll catch them but move to sponge driven tank (W 24"x H 18" x D 12") littered with small PVC piping (hopefully creating hides and avoid aggression)
- Starting at half full and gradually increasing water level as they grow.
- Alternatively, I do have a couple of 100L (26G) plastic tubs used to house shrimp culls that I can move them to.

Now, without further adieu... The questions:

- Have I missed/overlooked anything?
- The levels of Nitrates and Nitrites which start ringing alarm bells?
- Does anyone use any method to artificially encourage infusoria in their aquariums (outside of culturing them independently)? If so, what tips/tricks have you used?
- What's everyone's thoughts on using an airtube siphon from a Paramecium culture straight to 'grazing area' for slow but consistent feeding in the early days?
- Size milestones for sexing/gifting/shipping?

And the part you've all been waiting for.... Photos!!!!

The tank when first set up...

Mum and Dad when they moved in --- they're much brighter now :D

Mum with Fry


Mike Wise

Staff member
5 Year Member
Denver, Colorado, U.S.A.
Should work fine. Only thing I can think of is that you're putting more effort into it than I do, especially for someone not trying to raise every single fry.:)


New Member
5 Year Member
Should work fine. Only thing I can think of is that you're putting more effort into it than I do, especially for someone not trying to raise every single fry.:)
Thanks Mike!

Haha while not stressed about the outcome I'll always take the opportunity to learn. With no baseline it's hard to determine what's overkill. Would love to learn about any simpler methods.

Update: came in this morning and the mum had them out in the open. Counted approx 50 fry and they seem to be happy with the microworms.

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